|Heavyweight (Per 4/15)|
|Light HW (per 4/15)|
|Middleweight (per 4/15)|
|Welterweight (per 4/15)|
|4.||Marc de Bonte|
|70kg (Per 4/15)|
|3.||Robin van Roosmalen|
|65kg (per 1/20)|
Yesterday was a busy day in France with two prominent events happening. Time Fight 2 took place in Tours, after many major changes to the fight card.
The main event featured Fabio Pinca in action against Dutch kickboxer Tayfun Ozcan at 67kg, after the originally scheduled main attraction in Houcine Bennoui vs. Damien Alamos was pulled from the card. Pinca ended up being too much for the young Ozcan under Muay Thai rules, winning by TKO in Round 3. After a string of incredibly tough opponents, it was good to see Pinca get back in the win column with an easier fight. Pinca dominated in the clinch with knees and Ozcan couldn't continue after suffering a broken arm.
In other action on the card, Team Nasser K's Issam Reghi rebounded from a loss to Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee and won a decision over the long time veteran Marco Pique. Aziz Hlali handed Bobo Sacko the first loss of his career via decision. Another Team Nasser K fighter, Amine Kacem, who's very young, got the biggest win of his career to date with a win over the established French veteran Albert Chey via decision. Definitely keep an eye out for Kacem.
Fabio Pinca def. Tayfun Ozcan by TKO (Broken Arm) in Round 3.
Issam Reghi def. Marco Pique by decision.
Aziz Hlali def. Bobo Sacko by decision.
Amine Kacem def. Albert Chey by decision.Add a comment
MA Kick and WBC Japan held a big card earlier today headlined by the huge featherweight showdown between current WBC Japan champ Yosuke Morii and MA Kick champion and undefeated Hiroki Akimoto, as well as three other WBC Japan title fights and a superfight for MA Kick Flyweight champ Yuuji Uwasawa.
In the night's main event, Hiroki Akimoto remained undefeated in his pro career with a unanimous decision over Yosuke Morii on scores of 49-48, 49-47 and 50-47 to capture Morii's WBC Japan Featherweight title. Akimoto got the better of Morii throughout the first three rounds, landing more often, harder and cleaner than his opponent. However, in the 4th, Morii had Akimoto in trouble with a big left hook, but in the final round Akimoto came back strong and sealed his victory. Akimoto (16-0-0, 8 KO) has his consecutive (T)KO win streak snapped, but I'm sure he doesn't mind as he now has a claim as the #1 Featherweight in Japan with Genji Umeno effectively gone, fighting in Thailand and K-1. As a former K-1 Koshien finalist and now with this win over Morii, Akimoto could find himself a player in K-1 next year with the planned division expansion, but until then I'd like to see him fight Heihachi Nakajima or somebody of a similar caliber. Morii (20-4-2, 9 KO) once again fails in his quest for divisional supremacy, losing a one-sided decision to Genji Umeno in their fight last year. However, Morii is still a clear #2 behind Akimoto, holding wins this year over Heihachi Nakajima and Hiroki Nagashima. I expect Morii to continue to run through the division until a rematch with Akimoto or Umeno presents itself.
In the co-main event, WBC and WPMF Japan Flyweight champion Ryuji Kato made the first defense of his WBC Japan title with a majority decision over WPMF Japan Super Flyweight champion Kiminori Matsuzaki on scores of 49-49 and 49-48(x2). Kato was originally set to face Hiroyuki Yamano, though for a reason unknown to me, he was replaced by Matsuzaki, who Kato had recently called out because of Matsuzaki's recent win over Kato's teammate, Takuma Ito. Kato (19-3-1, 9 KO) has won two in a row after losing two in a row for the first time in his career, most recently defeating K-1 competitor Shuichi Wentz for the WPMF Japan Flyweight title. With wins over Yuki, Naoki Otsuki, Wentz, Sazanami Satsuma and now Matsuzaki, Kato has arguably the best resume at Flyweight and if it weren't for a majority decision loss to Yuuji Uwasawa, Kato would hands down be the top guy at the weight. A rematch with Uwasawa would be a great next fight for Kato, however after the fight Kato stated he wanted to fight internationally, naming Romie Adanza specifically. Matsuzaki came into this fight 14 years older than his opponent and with a 4-1 record in his last 5 fights, including wins over Hiroyuki Yamano and Takuma Ito, but has now lost two in a row. At 37, Matsuzaki didn't really show any signs of slowing down and has actually seemed to hit the best stride in his career despite back to back losses, both of which were close majority decisions. A fight with J-Network champion Kentaro Kimura could be in his near future.
At Welterweight, WBC Japan champ Yuya Yamato dominated Daiki Watabe en route to a 5th round TKO via cut to defend his WBC Japan title for the first time. Yamato (15-7-0, 10 KO) had a bit of speculation around his performance coming into this fight as he was obliterated by a Yuta Kubo headkick in his last fight, but he had little trouble with Watabe here, dropping him in the second round and offensively smothering him. With his natural fighting weight around 66kg, Yamato is somewhat stuck between two divisions and, because of this, doesn't have a lot of top tier competition to fight at his weight. That being said, WPMF Japan Welterweight champion T-98, should he successfully defend his title at the end of the month, would be a great, competitive matchup for Yamato at a weight he is comfortable fighting at. Watabe (13-9-1, 9 KO) came into this fight on a 2 fight winstreak, but just wasn't on the same level as Yamato.
In the final WBC Japan title fight, Takuma Ito was just too much for J-Network champ Kentaro Kimura and scored a 4th round TKO via corner stoppage to win the vacant WBC Japan Bantamweight title. Ito (14-3-1, 7 KO) had been struggling greatly as of late, losing three in a row to Kiminori Matsuzaki, TO-MA and Takashi Ohno, all of which were title fights, after starting his career 12-0-1. However, he bounced back with a win in June and now scores a big win here. I'd like to see him rematch Takashi Ohno for the MA Kick title in his next fight. Kimura was riding a 5-fight win streak into this fight which included winning the J-Network Bantamweight tournament, but came up short here. As previously stated, I'd like to see him defend his J-Network title against Kiminori Matsuzaki should Matsuzaki want to move up to Bantamweight.
Finally, MA Kick Flyweight champ Yuji Uwasawa took an easy win over Nagata Haryi on scores of 30-26 and 30-28(x2). Uwasawa would have liked to have been fighting Ryuji Kato on this card, but a loss to Hiroyuki Yamano in a #1 contender's bout earlier this year denied him of that chance. This win snaps a 2-fight losing streak for Uwasawa which included that loss to Yamano and a loss to Shuichi Wentz.
Quick results after the break
Although Superpro Fight Night IV took place a week ago in Basel, Switzlerland, it was aired in Switzerland on TeleBasel today and after watching it, I thought it'd be appropriate to highlight it, considering all three Beqiri brothers were fighting. The event also had the Glory tournament with the new format, but that part wasn't televised on TeleBasel, unfortunately.
First up is Ilir Beqiri, the youngest of the Beqiri brothers and also the lightest as this fight was at 63.5kg. He's just 18 years old and is now 7-0 in his pro career after defeating Mohammed Jelassi of France. Ilir shows tons of skill and promise for a kickboxer of his age and one can only assume that he's going to keep getting better, much like his brothers have. It was actually a close fight with Jelassi, who probably should've gotten more credit on the scorecards as the French fighter also showed a lot of skill and promise. Beqiri scored mostly with punches and occasional teeps to the face while Jelassi had more of a Muay Thai style, hammering in kicks to the body, along with step up knees there as well. Definitely look out for both fighters in the future, especially Ilir, seeing as how well his brothers have done.
Even though his fight was shown last, after Shemsi's, I'm going from youngest to oldest and talking about Hysni Beqiri, who dominated Mohammed El Mir, a participant in the GLORY Final 16, en route to a clear cut unanimous decision. Hysni definitely fights in much more of a different style than his two brothers, as he throws a lot more kicks than them. He likes to fire kicks to the body from range and attacks with a much more measured approach, maintaining his distance whilst punishing his opponents. Hysni is just 23 years old, again already showing tons of skill and promise. In my opinion, he's definitely ready to fight on a bigger stage like Glory, as he already showed in his fight against Hafid el Boustati where he arguably won after three rounds.
Last up, Shemsi Beqiri, the oldest and right now, the most successful and well known Beqiri. He may be the oldest but Shemsi is still only 26 years old and from the looks of his fight, still seems to be getting better. He got the biggest win of his career against Yoshihiro Sato back in May and while Steeve Valente is not as good as Sato, Shemsi dominated him and showcased some new skills. Particularly in the first two rounds, Shemsi started to throw hard kicks to the body, backing up Valente, just as he would back him up for the entire fight, including when he forced two counts on him in the second round. While Shemsi gets in and gets out, in this fight he was a pure presser fighter and it definitley worked. Look for Shemsi in the GLORY Final 8 in Rome, Italy on November 3.Add a comment
The other day, NJKF held the sixth installment of its Kick to the Future series at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo headlined by Tetsuya Yamato in a fight for the WBC International Super Lightweight Title, as well as 4 other WBC Japan titles on the line.
In the main event, Tetsuya Yamato took a unanimous decision over late replacement Paul Karpowicz on scores of 50-48 and 49-48(x2) to win the vacant WBC International Super Lightweight title. Yamato was originally set to face Leo Monteiro, who was replaced a few weeks back by Karpowicz. Yamato (29-9-1, 22 KO) seemed to have a little bit of trouble with Karpowicz, needing a knockdown in the final round to secure the win. He improves to 4-0 in 2012, with wins over Densiam Lookprabaht, Seiji Takahashi, Sergio Wielzen and now Karpowicz. Next for him could be another foreigner, perhaps even Liam Harrison, or he could toss his hat back in the ring at 63kg in Japan, but he seems pretty focused on international muay thai competition.
In the co-main event, WBC Japan Super Welterweight champ Soichiro Miyakoshi made the first defense of his title with a 3rd round TKO via cut of former Krush 70kg champ Kenta at 2:22. Miyakoshi (19-9-1, 10 KO) has had a pretty good year since dropping back to back fights to Yuya Yamato and Takafumi Morita last year, going 3-1 since with wins over then-undefeated J-Network champ Masato Otake, WBC Super Welterweight champ Yutaro Yamauchi to win this title and now Kenta to defend it, with the loss coming to Danilo Zanolini at the Hoost Cup. Despite the loss, these are three big wins for Miyakoshi and have helped in changing his role of gatekeeper to one of the top 70kg fighters in Japan. After a strong 2011, Kenta (24-11-3, 9 KO) seemed to be a strong candidate to rule the 70kg division in Japan in a post-Masato world, but a 1-3 record in 2012 has him on the outside looking in. He was upset by TOMOYUKI at Kick to the Future 1 in his first fight of the year, then lost his Krush title to Yasuhiro Kido at the hands of a spectacular knockout. A win in June over Shu Kiire helped him get his bearings back, but this loss makes it 1-4 in his last 5 and he is in need of a big win to turn his career around. With Yutaro Yamauchi making his return to Krush next month, Kenta could be a good opponent for a rematch should Yamauchi win his fight.
In the next WBC Japan title fight, Super Featherweight champ Yoshinori Nakasuka made his second defense with a unanimous decision over MA Kick Super Featherweight champ Hikaru Machida on scores of 50-46, 49-46 and 48-46. Nakasuka had yet to fight this year, most recently losing to Australian Joe Concha last November. This is a huge win for Nakasuka as Machida had been one of the hotter prospects of late. Machida takes his first loss of the year after he had a pair of draws against Kanongsuk and Keijiro Miyakoshi and a win over Takaaki Kimura.
In a fight for the WBC Japan Super Bantamweight title, MA Kick champion Keisuke Miyamoto beat reigning champion Ryuya Kusakabe on scores of 48-47 and 49-48(x2) to become the new WBC Japan Super Bantamweight champion. Miyamoto (14-1-1, 6 KO) is now undefeated in his last 6 and with recent wins over NJKF champ Arato and now Kusakabe, as well as Kenji's departure from kickboxing, is now arguably the #2 guy at 55kg behind Krush champ Shota Takiya. As big of a fan of Kusakabe as I am, this is exactly what the division needed as the top three guys had been fighting everyone but each other since the end of the Krush tournament and it seemed as though they were near untouchable. This win shakes up the division and presents a new, legitimate challenge to Takiya's throne. Kusakabe (13-2-0, 5 KO) is handed just his second pro loss, the first coming to Takiya in the Krush 55kg tourney finals, and has a three-fight winning streak snapped. I would like to see him fight a few guys in Krush to build a third fight with Shota Takiya, but who knows what he wants to do next. Either way, both of these fighters were born in 1992 and Takiya in 1989, so the three of them have plenty of years left to entertain fans and fight each other.
In the final WBC Japan title fight, WPMF Lightweight champ Yosuke Mizuochi was all over reigning champ Keijiro Miyakoshi en route to a unanimous decision win on scores of 50-45, 50-47 and 49-48. Mizuochi recently had his 6 fight winstreak snapped by Chonden Chuwattana in August, but bounces back with arguably a career best win here. Miyakoshi tastes defeat for the first time in 2 years, as he had gone 4-0-1 since 2011, winning the NJKF and WBC Japan Lightweight titles and most recently scoring a career best win over Koya Urabe. After a huge rise in stock, Miyakoshi takes a hit and will need some big wins to break into the upper echelon of the division.
Quick results after the break Add a comment
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Shootboxing held its final event before this year's S-Cup, featuring 3 S-Cup qualifying bouts featuring Shootboxing standouts Hiroki Shishido, Satoru Suzuki and Bovy Sor. Udomson, as well as newcomers Warren Stevelmans, Hinata and Akihiro Gono.
In the night's main event, Hiroki Shishido secured his spot in his 5th straight S-Cup with a 1st round KO of Satoru Suzuki. Shishido (49-17-0, 21 KO) scored a spinning backfist that dropped Suzuki and kept him down, snapping a 4-fight losing streak for Shishido. He had been struggling as of late, losing 6 of his last 7 with uncharacteristic losses to MMA fighters Toby Imada and "Lion" Takeshi Inoue, but picks up a big win here and should give him some momentum for the S-Cup. In the 2010 S-Cup, he dropped a decision to eventual champion Buakaw Por. Pramuk. Suzuki (8-12-0, 5 KO) had a chance to avenge a loss from his first fight in Shootboxing, but fell in the first round once again. Despite becoming one of Shootboxing's most popular fighters, it looks like Suzuki will miss out on this year's S-Cup.
In the co-main event, Shootboxing newcomers and K-1 veterans Warren Stevelmans and Hinata fought for a spot in this year's S-Cup, with Stevelmans winning a unanimous decision on scores of 30-28, 28-27 and 29-28. Stevelmans (56-16-4, 16 KO) dropped Hinata in the second round and it was enough to get him into this year's S-Cup. This was his second fight in Shootboxing, previously defeating Hiroki Shishido in the main event of Shootboxing Act.1 earlier this year. Hinata (23-13-1, 8 KO) was also making his second appearance in Shootboxing after a 48 second loss to Andy Souwer in 2010.
In the final S-Cup qualifier, Bovy Sor Udomson made quick work of former PRIDE and UFC star Akihiro Gono with a 1st round TKO at 2:15. Bovy (85-46-2, 53 KO) will make his 2nd S-Cup appearance with this win, losing to Andy Souwer in the quarterfinals of his first S-Cup in 2010. Bovy had most recently lost to Satoru Suzuki, but that is irrelevant as Bovy is in the S-Cup while Suzuki is not. Gono (5-4-0, 1 KO) initially weighed in over weight and had to re-weigh this morning before the event. After retiring from MMA earlier this year and returning to kickboxing in 2011, Gono had stated that he wanted to qualify for the S-Cup. A win in DEEP got him this fight, but he was unable to capitalize and this loss could possibly be the last fight in an entertaining career. If it is, hopefully the Magic Man can continue to find ways to entertain fans outside of fighting.
Assuming Shootboxing will be able to bring back their 4 semifinalists from 2010 (Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Toby Imada, Andy Souwer and Henri van Opstal), there is only 1 open spot remaining. It is possible that the spot could be given to one of today's losers, presumably Satoru Suzuki, or it could go to Shootboxing Super Lightweight champ Hiroaki Suzuki. With Shishido being the only Japanese fighter to qualify for the tournament, I expect either Suzuki to be a more viable option than a 7th foreigner.
In a 60kg bout, RISE 60kg champ Kosuke Komiyama continued his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Shootboxing Super Featherweight champ Akifumi Utagawa on scores of 30-28 and 30-29(x2). Komiyama (19-2-0, 11 KO) has looked extremely impressive since a questionable split decision loss to Keiji Ozaki in K-1 and is looking for divisional supremacy at 60kg, though that will be hard to claim until he fights against the best that Krush has to offer. To his credit, he has called out Hirotaka Urabe in the past, but nothing has come of it. Utagawa (32-13-1, 1 NC, 15 KO) had his 4-fight winning streak snapped here.
Quick results after the break
Yesterday in Sao Paulo, Brazil, two more It's Showtime Brazil qualification tournaments took place under the WGP promotion, the biggest kickboxing organization in Brazil. The tournaments took place at 63kg and 85kg respectively.
At 63kg, the tournament began with Emerson Falcao vs. Eduardo Vieira and Diego David vs. Amilcar da Fonseca. Falcao defeated Vieira by split decision in what was a rematch and Diego David defeated Amilcar da Fonseca by unanimous decision. David couldn't make the finals due to injury so Paulo Sergio Freitas, who won earlier on the card by unanimous decision in a reserve fight against Daniel Matos, replaced him and faced Falcao. Falcao defeated Freitas by split decision in the final and qualifies for It's Showtime Brazil in Sao Paulo on November 10.
At 85kg the tournament match-ups were Clei Silva vs. Ricardo Soneca and Alex Sandro Pereira (pictured) vs. Felipe Michelleti. Both Silva and Pereira won by unanimous decision, setting up a rematch between them in the final. Pereira won their first fight and won again in the final, knocking out Silva in the first round and qualifying for It's Showtime Brazil on November 10.
So far there have been four qualifiers for It's Showtime Brazil from these WGP tournaments and they are Emerson Falcao at 63kg, Wallace Lopes at 70kg, Rogerio Bezerra at 77kg and Alex Sandro Pereira at 85kg. On October 20 in Belo Horizonte again under the WGP promotion, there will be a final qualifying tournament.
Reserve Fight: Paulo Sergio Freitas def. Daniel Matos by unanimous decision.
Semi-Final: Diego David def. Amilcar da Fonseca by unanimous decision.
Semi-Final: Emerson Falcao def. Eduardo Vieira by split decision.
Final: Emerson Falcao def. Paulo Sergio Freitas by split decision.
Reserve Fight: Alessandro Benacci da Silva def. Daniel de Oliveira by unanimous decision.
Semi-Final: Clei Silva def. Ricardo Soneca by unanimous decision.
Semi-Final: Alex Sandro Pereira def. Felipe Michelleti by unanimous decision.
Final: Alex Sandro Pereira def. Clei Silva by KO in Round 1.Add a comment
Sahak Parparyan is the It's Showtime 85MAX World Champion, last defending it against Andrew Tate on May 12 in Belgium, where he won a five round unanimous decision. Sahak hasn't fought since then but he returned to the ring yesterday.
Yesterday in Alkmaar, Netherlands, Iron Ring took place where the biggest fight on the card was Sahak Parparyan vs. Jason Wilnis, an up and coming 21 year old Dutch fighter. Sahak ended up winning a decision and getting another win this year, advancing his record in 2012 to 5-0 after four wins in the first half of the year. It's still a good win for Sahak as he was able to get some ring time against a competent opponent after not fighting since May.
For Wilnis, he is just only 21 so he's still got a future ahead of him. He did lose to Cheick Sidibe on May 12 at It's Showtime but still has potential and it's way too early to write him off.
Also on the card was another up and coming Dutch prospect, Steve Poort, who is still fighting in the B Class. Poort actually lost a decision, surprisingly, to Regian Eersel but again, it's another case like Wilnis' where losses to young up and comers don't mean you can write them off. It's not unusual for a prospect to lose in the B Class and come back much better, just like the likes of Robin van Roosmalen have done.Add a comment
Earlier today at Korakuen Hall, Rajadamnern Stadium Super Lightweight champion Hiroki Ishii defended his title for the second time with a 1st round knockout of Plynoi Por. Paoin at 1:54. Ishii (57-12-10, 27 KO) first won the Rajadamnern Stadium title last October with a decision over Aphisak KT Gym and defended it in March against Kenfang Por. Puangchon, also by decision. He is now riding an 8 fight winstreak and is 12-2 since 2009, fighting all Thai opposition in that time.
In other action, prospect Mutsuki Ebata kept his hype train rolling with a 1st round TKO via cut of 8th ranked Rajadamnern Stadium Flyweight Jomphet Chuwattana. Ebata (17-1-1, 12 KO) was coming off of a win over Arashi Fujiwara, avenging his sole pro loss and has now won 7 in a row.
Quick results after the break
Aside from K-1's event yesterday in Los Angeles, there was some other notable kickboxing action in Merseburg, Germany at Merseburger Fight Night. Danyo Ilunga was among names featured in a one night, eight man heavyweight tournament and Gago Drago also returned to the ring to try and snap his eight fight losing streak.
Ilunga ended up winnin the heavyweight tournament but he only ended up having to fight twice. He defeated Wendell Roche in a rematch of their It's Showtime title fight back in December of 2010 by unanimous decision in the quarter finals. The other quarter final match-ups consisted of Slavo Polugic defeating Utley Meriana by unanimous decision, Senad Hadzic defeating Martin Jahn by corner stoppage in the second round and Uguz Ovgur took a decision over Vladimir Toktasynov.
In the first semi-final, Slavo Polugic pushed Senad Hadzic to the ground and soccer kicked him not once, but twice, resulting in a brawl in the ring between both camps. Both fighters were disqualified. Uguz Ovgur was injured so with Polugic and Hadzic disqualified, Ilunga ended up fighting Sergio Pique, who won his reserve bout over Jerry Otto via KO from a high kick, in the final. Ilunga ended up overwhelming Pique in the first round, winning by TKO.
Gago Drago faced Baker Barakat and after a competitive first three rounds, the fight went to an extra round. In the extra round, Drago pressured Barakat a bit more to secure the win and snap his eight fight losing streak.
Max Baumert of Golden Glory Berlin met the grizzled veteran, Marco Pique and took a unanimous decision in a close fight.
Sergio Pique def. Jerry Otto by KO (High Kick) in Round 2.
Steven Kitzing def. Romano Romasco by unanimous decision.
Tournament Quarter Finals
Danyo Ilunga def. Wendell Roche by unanimous decision.
Slavo Polugic def. Utley Meriana by unanimous decision.
Senad Hadzic def. Martin Jahn by TKO (Corner Stoppage) in Round 2.
Uguz Ovgur def. Vladimir Toktasynov by unanimous decision.
Slavo Polugic and Senad Hadzic are both disqualified.
Danyo Ilunga def. Sergio Pique by TKO in Round 1.
Gago Drago def. Baker Barakat by extra round decision.
Max Baumert def. Marco Pique by unanimous decision.
Alban Ahmeti def. Onur Karaoglan by unanimous decision.
Peter Chobanov def. Mikail Bajramov by TKO (Cut) in Round 1.
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Earlier today, Krush held a day-night event for their 2012 Youth GP, with the day portion featuring the semifinals of the 70kg Youth GP and the night portion featuring the quarterfinals and semifinals of the 63kg Youth GP, with a few superfights on each card.
In the 63kg GP quarterfinals, DEEP*KICK 65kg Hiroto Yamaguchi started things off with a 2nd round knockout of MA Kick #2 Super Lightweight Minoru Kimura at 2:01. In the second quarterfinal, tournament favorite and 2011 runner-up Koya Urabe cruised to a 2nd round KO of his own, a body shot KO of 2011 quarterfinalist Kengo Sonoda at 2:37. In the third quarterfinal, 2011 quarterfinalist Daizo Sasaki took a majority decision win over K-1 Koshien 2011 runner-up Yuya on scores of 30-29(x2) and 29-29. In the final quarterfinal, the night’s biggest upset took place, with the unheralded Hisaki Higashimoto knocking out Hiroya in his pro debut just 62 seconds into the first round.
In the first semifinal, Koya Urabe cruised to a unanimous decision over Hiroto Yamaguchi on scores of 30-28(x2) and 30-27. In the second semifinal, Hisaki Higashimoto remained unbeaten with an extension round split decision over Daizo Sasaki on scores of 10-9(x2) and 9-10.
The big story coming out of this tournament is of course Hisaki Higashimoto (2-0-0, 1 KO) making his pro kickboxing debut after a background in karate and knocking out Hiroya (11-6-0, 6 KO). I had thought Higashimoto would have trouble with Hiroya as Hiroya’s biggest liability is his boxing defense and coming from a karate background, Higashimoto would have trouble exposing that, but he was able to. Another big story is his semifinal opponent, Daizo Sasaki (7-8-1, 2 KO), who had lost 4 in a row coming into this tournament but was able to get past a good prospect in Yuya (6-2-0, 6 KO) and take Higashimoto to an extension round. This was the night Sasaki needed to help revive his career. Good showing from Koya Urabe (22-4-0, 3 KO) who went in and did what he needed to do to get to the finals again. Good to see him get a stoppage against Kengo Sonoda (3-4-1, 0 KO) as it showed he had some urgency to finish his first round opponent in order to be fresh for the semifinals, something that had been lacking before. Hiroto Yamaguchi (9-2-0, 5 KO) can walk away proud from this event, having knocked out Minoru Kimura (8-2-1, 6 KO) to bounce back from his first career loss, despite being shutout by Urabe. The Kimura hype train takes another hit with a second straight loss, but both have come to other promising prospects in Sho Ogawa and now Hiroto Yamaguchi. I favor Urabe in the finals as he is the proven fighter, but if Higashimoto is able to score another upset or even fights Urabe close, we will have another exciting prospect in the 63kg division.
In the 70kg semifinals, 2009 K-1 Koshien 70kg champ Shintaro Matsukura needed an extension round to get past RISE 2011 KAMINARIMON 70kg champ Kazuya Akimoto, but came up big in the extension round, scoring a knockout at 1:14 in the round. Matsukura will meet Taisei Kondo in the finals as he took a semifinal win over JungleKoki via majority decision on scores of 29-28(x2) and 28-28. Matsukura (6-6-0, 5 KO) has taken some tough losses recently, though they have come against top competition, dropping fights to Yasuhiro Kido and TOMOYUKI. He struggled a bit with Akimoto (2-1-0, 1 KO) but ultimately came out on top. Kondo (5-2-2, 2 KO) definitely has a chance at beating a vulnerable Matsukura who has some defensive liabilities and can be a slow, plodding fighter at times. He needed a late knockdown to beat JungleKoki (5-3-0, 2 KO) and could find the same magic against Matsukura in the finals, but I give Matsukura the edge. The 70kg final will take place on November 10th at Krush.24 and I assume the 63kg final will as well.
In a superfight, NJKF Super Lightweight Seiji Takahashi knocked out Atsushi Ogata in the 1st round. Takahashi was coming off of a knockout loss to Tetsuya Yamato while Ogata most recently upset Toshiki Taniyama.
Quick results after the break Add a comment